Gender pension gap ‘persistent’; effective tools needed to resolve it

The gender pension gap is “persistent” and “effective tools” are needed to overcome it, according to Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s, Saila Ruuth.

Speaking at the Pension Adequacy Conference hosted by the Finnish Centre for Pensions in Helsinki, 17 September, Ruuth gave an overview of the work the department is focusing on.

She noted that the theme of the department’s focus is on the economy of wellbeing, and noted that pensions adequacy has never touched as many people as it does now.

On the subject of the gender pension gap, she said: “Gender equality is an inseparable part of the economy of wellbeing, still today women receive lower earnings related pensions than on average than men do.

“This gender pensions gap has proven to be persistent, therefore, we need to find effective measures to close this gap in the future. This demands measures that extend far beyond pension policies.”

The subject of equal pension rights was also touched on by European Commission (EC), director general, social affairs and inclusion, Katarina Ivanković Knežević, who said that the EC European Pillar of Social Rights emphasizes the importance of equal opportunities for women and men to acquire pension rights.

“Here we can say that equal rules are not enough,” she stated. Therefore, she said that it is important to work towards the total elimination of the gender pensions gap.

A presentation by Social Protection Committee indicators’ subgroup chair, Rudi Van Dam also revealed that females over the age of 65 are much more at risk of poverty than men aged over 65.

In Ireland, it was recently revealed that women recieve 35 per cent less pension income than men in retirement.

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